Grand Island man deemed a career offender gets 19 years on drug charge

Austin Kober sentenced to 19 years for drug conviction in federal court.
Austin Kober sentenced to 19 years for drug conviction in federal court.(Hall County Department of Corrections)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 9:21 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - A Grand Island man is heading to prison for 19 year following his conviction for distribution of methamphetamine of 50 grams or more.

U.S. District Court Judge John M. Gerrard handed down the sentence to 24-year-old Austin Kober. The sentence was enhanced because Kober was deemed to be a career offender.

According to the Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Russell, on two occasions in March 2021, Kober sold methamphetamine to an informant in Grand Island. Methamphetamine from one of the sales was sent to the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab where an analyst confirmed the presence of at least 106 grams of pure methamphetamine. On May 26, 2021, investigators saw short-term traffic to and from Kober’s residence, then saw him leave in a Chevy Impala. Police stopped the car due to traffic violations. Police found $699 cash in Kober’s pocket and he admitted marijuana had been in the car in the past. Police deployed a drug-detection dog around Kober’s car. The dog alerted and indicated to the odor of narcotics. During a search of Kober’s car, investigators found $1,500 in cash in the center console and a half-pound of methamphetamine in the back seat. The Crime Lab confirmed the presence of at least 240 grams pure methamphetamine.

Investigators served a search warrant at Kober’s residence where they found a drug ledger, a vacuum sealer machine, vacuum sealer bags, marijuana, and a box of baggies. Investigators interviewed Kober who admitted to dealing methamphetamine. Two witnesses told investigators they had received methamphetamine from Kober on multiple occasions between 2020-2021.

This case was investigated by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, which is made up of officers from the Grand Island Police Department, Hall County Sheriff, Hastings Police Department, Adams County Sheriff, Kearney Police Department, Buffalo County Sheriff, Nebraska State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.